MEMBERS PRESENT: Anna Ambrose, Stacey Black, Melissa Claiborne, Martha Cortner, Lynn Crittendon, Bettie Ferguson, Mary Pat Freeman, Anne Gordon, Dee Dee Hall, Karen Hunter, Tom Jeffries, Cindy Johnson, Cindy London, Damon Lynne, Mark Manassee, Carol Modos, Melissa Patrick, Judy Privett, Nancy Rudge, Barbara Sammons, Paula Smith, Rachel Stacey, Janet Staley, Linda Thornton, Josie Vaughn and Rita Warren.
Guests: Sue May, Pathology; Patricia Aaron, Pediatric Surgery; and Stacy Black, VUSN.
MEMBERS ABSENT WITH REGRETS: Myra Agee, Ann Hurley, JoGale Ray and Sharon Smith
President Bettie Ferguson called the meeting to order at 2:05 pm.
SPEAKERS: GENE ORNES, Director, Medical Center Traffic & Parking
KEN BROWNING, Director, Plant Services
CYRIL STEWART, Director, Planning Space & Facilities Planning
Topic: Parking Issues
Smoking in Non-Designated Areas and Other Smoking Issues
Mr. Ornes began with the distribution of his discussion topics for the meeting. This list included:
Constant Change at VUMC – What’s New
MRB III, Children’s Hospital; Wilkerson/MSI
Parking Impact – Will we fill up 25th Avenue Garage
What’s on the Horizon?
The walkway to Capers
Long Range Plans
More patient parking, where?
More faculty/staff parking, where?
More deliveries, where?
More construction & renovation
Mr. Browning stated that about one year ago he was asked to work with Mr. Ornes with regard to parking challenges. Mr. Browning stated one of his first challenges was to better understand Vanderbilt’s relationship with Central Parking. Mr. Browning stated that he wanted to develop more of a partnering sense with them. Mr. Browning stated the Monroe Carell who started Central Parking and is a majority shareholder in that publicly traded company is a huge supporter of Vanderbilt Medical Center and Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital. Although may it seem to some that we have Central Parking because Monroe Carell is so influential here to some degree that is true. On the other side of the equation though is his dedicated interest in Vanderbilt Medical Center and so I was pleasantly surprised when I began to review the contract terms with Central Parking that in my assessment that it is an extremely competitive contract. So that is to say they don’t make a lot of profit off of Vanderbilt. They make a profit, they have to, they are a business. They are in business to stay in business; they are not in business to break even. But there is a fairly moderate margin if you compare it to what you’d see in the competitive world. I was encouraged by this and I was also encouraged by the fact with his dedication to the Medical Center it seems logical to me that he’d want to have a flagship operation at the Medical Center. That he would want it to be one of the best Central Parking operations that he has across the country just because of his investment in Vanderbilt.
We talked with them about some Customer Satisfaction training classes. They took the lead and brought all their staff in on a couple of Saturdays to conduct Customer Satisfaction training. All were very receptive of that. I think this made a difference. This is the kind of thing that you have to keep doing all the time.
We created a parking task force. The primary focus of this task force was to address some of the patient parking problems that we were having. One of the outcomes of this parking task force was the acknowledgment that we needed to move the physicians from the VUH garage. Also, from this task force was the implementation of a license plate recognition system. This is a camera that takes a picture of license plates as they come into the garage and allows you to capture that on a computer and sort it to see what sort of traffic the garage has. Also, to see if anyone is abusing the garage parking system. Another outcome of the task force was implementation of an accelerated valet parking program in the VUH garage. This was done so that we have the ability to “stack” cars. If you have valets parking the cars, then they can park in the isles because they have all the keys. Therefore they can manage the vehicles and actually get more parking per square foot out of the garage then you can do if you are just allowing the general public to park. The reconstruction of the wooden stairs in the VUH garage was in large part an outcome of the task force. This group meets every few weeks. We look current situations, talk about different solutions. There is a representative from Space and Facilities Planning on the group. We also have a couple of the greeters that work in front of VUH and Clinic. We have Central Parking’s top management. We have some Central Parking frontline people, so we get perspective from the people who are actually out doing the work. And of course, Gene, myself and hospital administration.
One thing that this group has talked about as we look at what our projections for the VUH garage are, is what are we going to do when we are fill? How can we see more patients if we don’t have parking for them? One option may be to use the Capers garage. So there is a bridge that will be built, actually two bridges, one goes across on the fourth over to Children’s Hospital and the second one goes across on the Plaza level. You will see this under construction pretty soon. Once this bridge is in place we will have other options. We can get more of the Vanderbilt Clinic patient population to park in the Capers Garage possibly and just walk across the bridge. We could ask hospital visitors to use the Capers Garage. So that would get a group of people out of the VUH garage. All of these different options are discussed at the task force meetings. We discuss pros and cons to see what we think might be the smartest next step to make.
Mr. Ornes asked the Council for help in emphasizing the fact that nothing around here ever stands still. Absolutely nothing. There will always be change.
Mr. Ornes gave a history of the buildings built since 1985 and along with a history of the parking and shuttle operations.
Mr. Ornes detailed the parking services currently available and the car per space turnover per day.
Mr. Ornes said that they try to make changes and updates as needed. Recently the TVC shuttle route has been changed as to how it goes around the Medical Center because of some of the changes in traffic patterns. We also try to listen to all suggestions. Mr. Ornes stated that his email box stays full.
Mr. Stewart stated that he appreciates the efforts of the Staff Council by letting them know where the problems areas are and what they need to do to keep the focus, as it should be. Mr. Stewart stated that we are in a unique situation from a parking standpoint. We are the closest thing to Manhattan that we have in middle Tennessee. If you look at the density of the place that we have, we are like Manhattan. But you and I all drive in from middle Tennessee and would like to have it just like we do at Wal-Mart where you drive up and walk right in.
We made the right decision a few years ago in that we said that patients have the first priority for parking. We have “way” finding plans in place. If we can get funding, then we feel this will help a large number of folks who drive around trying to find where they need to be. We feel this is a critical need.
There is a master plan and in that is a land development plan that looked at how much can we grow here. What are the limits? We cannot just continue to grow forever. Between the campus and medical center we have almost 15 million square feet of space right now. This plan shows us that we can add about another 7-8 million square. What will Vanderbilt look like at the end of this? If we do it carefully, it can actually look better. We can have better functioning spaces.
We know that parking is tough. We appreciate your patience. We are committed to try to stay ahead of the curve. None of us will ever be able to park right outside our office door, but we will continue to provide the best parking we can.
The December meeting ran over time and the smoking topic portion of the meeting did not get to take place. President Ferguson asked Mr. Browning to return to a future meeting to discuss this topic.
President Ferguson stated that she was not sure based on all the comments she had received prior to this meeting regarding parking issues that the concerns were addressed. She then polled the Council to ask their feelings. The Council members stated they appreciated the presentation they had just heard, but that their concerns were not addressed.
President Ferguson discussed inviting the speakers back possibly in April to address the concerns with regard to parking and smoking. A suggestion was made that since President Ferguson had already put in writing the concerns about parking and smoking to ask the speakers to respond in writing to each concern. Therefore the Council would have some answers sooner than later.
President Ferguson stated that she is on the smoking committee and that they have met several times. The Committee is really looking into all the smoking issues.
The November minutes were approved as written.
· Janet Staley distributed the financial report from the 2002 Needles and Pins Craft Fair. The total net
revenue is $4,153.38. Janet also presented a vest that was given by one of the crafters renting a booth
for the silent auction. No one bid on the vest. Council Members interested in purchasing the vest can
President Ferguson stated that the bake sales in May and July raised $407.80. The November bake sale revenue totaled $61.50. For a total of $469.30. Then with that added to the $4,153.38 equals $4,622.68.
President Ferguson stated that she would get a proposal sent to Dr. Jacobson asking for matching funds.
· In reference to the University standing committees, President Ferguson said that with the emails that she had sent out that the Council should know where we stand. All names submitted will be considered for a committee seat. Those selected will be contacted. Mark Manassee has agreed to have his name submitted for consideration for the Campus Security Committee and the Equal Access Committee. President Ferguson stated that she needed to solicit one more name to submit for consideration for the Campus Security Committee. Martha Cortner volunteered to have her name submitted.
President Ferguson stated that beginning with the January meeting she will begin asking at each meeting for committee updates.
· The quarterly meeting with Administration was held on December 3. President Ferguson stated that the meeting was very successful and positive. President Ferguson stated that during this meeting topics discussed were empowering staff, communication and “Best Practices”.
Meetings for January through July 2003 will be held in 214 Light Hall.
The next meeting will be on January 15 at 2:00 pm in room 214 Light Hall.
Speaker will be Dr. Mary Yarbrough, Director of Health and Wellness.
The meeting was adjourned at 3:15 pm.
Lisa A. Ellis